Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Exposing Oneself for Musicals
William Finn, known for his richly emotional and idiosyncratic musicals, is a master at evoking both shocked guffaws and choked-up sobs from audiences. A new revue of songs by the composer/lyricist of the beloved “Falsettos” trilogy—about a gay male couple facing intimacy and AIDS—was presented two summers ago in Hartford, Conn., by Finn’s frequent director Rob Ruggiero, and the revue, titled “Make Me a Song,” is now at New World Stages. Five cast members make their way through more than 20 of Finn’s quirky, insightful songs.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
By Dustin Fitzharris
Rates of depression among New York City’s LGBT community are nearly double that of its straight population, according to the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOH). The findings were noted in the DOH’s 2008 Local Government Plan for Mental Health Services, released Oct. 22. Although the information confirms what LGBT mental health experts have known for years, this marks the first time that the city health department included the LGBT population in its plan.
Native American activist Harlan Pruden can move instantly from a furious passion to heartfelt tears as he discusses the challenges of trying to educate people about the needs and struggles of members of his community who identify as two-spirit, or queer. He can spout off facts and figures about the risks for falling into alcoholism or drug addiction, a subject he can talk about from personal experience, having been sober for more than two decades and worked at the LGBT community Center to develop innovative programs for people in recovery.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Turn of the Screw
Presented by Wake Up, Marconi! at Bank Street Theatre, 55 Bank St., NYC. Nov. 3-17. Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. (Additional performance Sat., Nov. 17, 2 p.m.) (212) 352-3101 or (866) 811-4111 or www.theatremania.com.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Drum of the Waves of Horikawa
October 27, 2007
By Christopher Murray
There's a real feast for the senses going on at Here, where the Theatre of a Two-headed Calf is presenting its punk Kabuki version of Monzaemon Chikamatsu's 17th-century revenge play Drum of the Waves of Horikawa. A 12-feet-by-12-feet mat defines the central playing space (designed by Peter Ksander), cordoned off by plungers acting as stanchions and hung with decapitated brooms. On either side are two drum sets; there are also a DJ booth and a keyboard for composer Brendan Connelly, who spends a lot of time whacking a horseshoe with a spike and acts as an ironic and laid-back master of ceremonies. "The next break will be more of a party. Is my mother back?" he asks the audience as he announces the end of one of the short intermissions.
Winsome touches define the visual elements of director Brooke O'Harra's production, including the wonderful blend of traditional Japanese apparel and makeup with the leather, boots, and more-is-better war paint of 1970s punk (costume design by Emily Rebholz) and a great variety of practical and scenic lighting instruments (designed by Justin Townsend with assistance from Christopher Kuhl).
It's unfortunate, though, that while the eyes are delighted, the ears are beat into senselessness by the crashing eponymous noise generated, oddly enough, by two Ph.D. candidates (Ian Antonio and Russell Greenberg on drums). Maybe it's my 40-year-old ears that don't have tolerance for the conceit of using punk mannerisms to tell an old tale of the dishonor of infidelity. It's not that I don't get the idea that punk thrashing and shouting could be just as stylized and ritualized as the grimaces and contortions of traditional Kabuki performance. It's more that I couldn't connect to a story whose emotional core was buried under layers of pretentiousness posing as intellectual theatricality.
Oct. 27-Nov. 17. Thu.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.(212) 352-3101 or (866) 811-4111 or www.theatermania.com or www.here.org.
Celebrated gay author Christopher Bram's critically acclaimed last novel "Exiles in America" comes out in paperback November 13, quite an achievement for a literary-quality, queer-themed book.
CHRISTOPHER BRAM: Initially I just wanted to write a novel about a gay couple in a long-term relationship. It's surprising how few novels there are about gay marriages. Most gay fiction is about first love or doomed love, not domestic love.Early on I decided to give my couple an open marriage, in part because nobody writes about that either, but also because it would guarantee some kind of drama. Then I added another couple, an Iranian family with children. They too have an open marriage, necessitated by the fact that the husband, Abbas, a painter, is primarily gay.And I set it the eve of the Iraq War, which was when I wrote the book. I knew something would happen in the Middle East, but didn't know exactly what. After that I just let my characters loose, all the while looking over my shoulder at current events.